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UT: Escalante Neon 10-5-19 (with some other observations...)

Discussion in 'Trip Reports' started by cboswel1, Oct 13, 2019.

  1. cboswel1


    Took some friends through Neon on Saturday, Oct 5th for an out and back. This was my 10th time doing the canyon. Was pretty disappointed to find several slurs carved on the rocks on the hike out, they looked mostly fresh. If you this was you or your kids that did this, please never come back.

    Anyways, we dropped in off the big horn into the side canyon right against the main Neon Canyon. The webbing on this horn hasn't been replaced in years, and one piece was literally able to be torn by hand. There were three separate pieces of webbing on the horn, with one that was literally an amalgamation of overhand knots as a connection point. I unfortunately didn't have a big enough piece of webbing to replace this and also potentially replace the final rap. The rest of the canyon is low water and we had good temps (we didn't even suit up) with the exception of the first keeper, which seemed to be a potential swim, making it a tough pothole escape, so we climbed out the side and used the single bolt. A bit of waist deep water from there to the awful chocked third to last rap. I honestly have always hated this rappel and think it is terribly awkward, as the chocked anchor forces you to almost fall a few feet till it catches once you get over the edge, putting a tremendous repeated shock load on the webbing. There was a group ahead of us that went with this method, or maybe they jumped? I heard a big splash and lots of "are you alright?", then laughing, so I'm assuming it worked out for them this time. I personally find stemming out to the suspended anchor easier, but my friends were not up for it, so I lowered them. I know it's against the ethic out here, but a bolt would do wonders here, especially with how much novice traffic goes through.

    The final keeper was an optional rap/slide into a swim out. The lip is currently covered, so you can just beach out on the swim. The water was cold and there is little sun to be found in this section, so we did get a bit cold. The last rap is its usual mess of 50 pieces of unnecessary webbing. I hauled out over 100ft of useless webbing last year during a trip, but it seems to have all made its way back. Why do people rig so much webbing up there? It's an 80ft rap, not Heaps. Someone had extended this anchor out all the way to about ten feet from the edge, making it very difficult to rig and eliminate slack before being exposed. You had to literally lower yourself out on the webbing, which again, is not ideal for inexperienced canyoneers.

    There was a party of about 15-20 20 somethings camped at the bottom of the Cathedral, and there was evidence they had been having fires, which was lame. They had shit everywhere, which had to have been pretty disappointing for any day hikers coming through that day.

    All in all, another great fall trip through the canyon. We got lucky and hit one of the last 80 degree days, so I'm assuming it's cold water pro from here on out.
    RThatcher and ratagonia like this.
  2. Canyonero


    Thanks, very helpful. Low water but still cold eh.

    Last time I was there we didn't use any of that webbing, we just sandtrapped the drop from way down low as I recall.

    If an anchor is bad for newbies, don't have them rap on it. Save it for LAMAR and have them rap on you as meat. You can put yourself anywhere you want to make it an easier start. If someone puts a bolt in there it'll likely be removed within weeks.
    Ram likes this.
  3. 2065toyota


    The canyon is better in my opinion to keep hiking up farther until you can downclimb in. You get a few more cool narrow sections of canyon to do
    Blake J, carla merrill and Ram like this.
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